Simont Braun - Avocats advocaten lawyers

Trade Practices Advertising and Consumer Protection

Placing products and services on the market is subject to ever-increasing regulatory constraints due to factors such as harmonisation by EU authorities, ranging from the characteristics of products and services to liability, advertising rules, trade practices on the internet and the use of personal data.

Our fields of expertise

Our lawyers navigate through layers of national and international regulations while maintaining focus on the market realities and your commercial needs. They regularly advise professional bodies, communication agencies and all kinds of Belgian and foreign businesses in the most varied of sectors (e.g. cosmetics, food and banking services) on their advertising and trade practices issues. We also guide and assist clients in consumer protection matters in the broadest sense. Our practice also covers Belgian and EU competition law aspects and in particular vertical and horizontal restraints.

Our expertise also includes litigation in the aforementioned areas, including discussions and negotiations with the administrative bodies in charge of implementing applicable rules.

More specifically, we have acquired substantial experience in:

  • Advertising and all kinds of salespromotion issues;

  • Unfair competition, including parasitism and infringement of trade secrets;

  • Compliance with local and international trade practices and customs;

  • e-Commerce;

  • Consumer credit;

  • Labelling (food, cosmetics, etc.);

  • Organisation of lotteries, promotional games and competitions;

  • Online and offline contracts, general terms and conditions;

  • Data protection legislation and regulations (see Data Protection & Privacy);

  • Loyalty and other interactive programmes.

  • Vertical and horizontal restraints

Our IP lawyers in charge of these matters are also experts in licensing and distribution, as these aspects regularly interfere. This enables us to handle both your sharpest questions and multi-disciplinary projects.

Some recent projects

Advising food producers and cosmetics manufacturers in their relationship with supermarkets about various advertising and retail distribution aspects, including in particularly tense situations where competition law and trade practices law are particularly at stake (collective purchase boycott, passing-off practices, etc.).

Assistance of a Belgian importer of household products in the organisation and day-to-day follow-up of the distribution network in Belgium in accordance with the specific retail sales method, also in combination with the Internet possibilities and restrictions under competition law.

Assistance of manufacturers and other advertisers of consumer products in court and in front of the Jury d’éthique Publicitaire / Jury voor Ethische Praktijken inzake reclame about their advertisements, radio and TV campaigns as well as websites.